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Robert Duffy


1925 - 2019 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Robert Duffy Obituary
Duffy, Robert
1925 - 2019
Robert J. Duffy, died April 1, 2019 He was born in St Louis, on October 7, 1925. He grew up in Bexley, Ohio and lived there for the rest of his life. Bob graduated from Bexley High School in 1943. After briefly attending OSU, Bob
traveled to San Francisco. He worked on the docks in San Francisco before enlisting in the Navy as an aviation cadet. He did his flight training in Pensacola, FL. where he learned to fly Stearman aircraft which was a highpoint in his life. The war ended just as Bob finished his flight training. When Bob returned to Columbus after the war, his father, who worked for many years from Cummins Diesel and Shell Oil, purchased 2 military issue tug boats with diesel engines in Louisiana. Bob and a handful of High School friends, were tasked with bringing these tugs up the Mississippi River to Louisville, KY with the help of a Bayou River Boat Captain. As soon as the Mississippi came into view, the story goes, the river boat captain "jumped ship" leaving Bob and his friends with 2 huge tugs, a massive river and a Rand McNally Road atlas for scant navigational help. Having run aground a few times too often they luckily bumped into 2 seasoned boat captains familiar with the Mississippi River who piloted the tugs boats to their final destination. The tugs were scraped and the diesel engines sent on to Columbus. It was these diesel engines that launched P.W Duffy and Son which began by refurbishing diesel engines in an old barn in an alley in German Village. Later the business focused on selling locomotives and parts for the second hand market under the name of Duffy and Son. Bob worked with his father side by side every day for 30 years. He ran the locomotive business on his own for another 30+ years after his father passed. Bob served on the Bexley Board of Education from 1972-84. A voracious reader, Bob's favorite haunt, from the time he was a kid, was the Bexley Public Library. Bob's warmth and wit delighted the residents and staff at Kensington Place where he spent the last five years of his life. Bob is preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Nancy, and his sister Jeanne Thacker. He is survived by his three children, Cate, Michael (Demetra), and Diana (Doug); and
three grandsons, Niko, Luke, and Jake Duffy. We will remember Bob Duffy for his positive attitude and his sense of humor. He would quite frequently say, "I've had a wonderful life. It's been a ball." A simple celebration of life was held at Kensington Place on April 2. Donations would be appreciated to your local library.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Apr. 12, 2019
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